What happens when the therapist cancels?

What do you do when your support service just isn’t available when you need it?

Written by Anonymous


Recently accepting to go to therapy was a big step for me. I had reached a point where I was no longer able to write the narrative in my head about how everything was going to work out for the best. I’m only a few sessions in and while the entire process is tough and can leave your moods rather unpredictable, I definitely get the sense now that I’m on a path to somewhere better and brighter. My appointments have been taking place every two weeks and I was supposed to have one today.

Such is life though, things do get in the way for legitimate reasons, and my therapist had to cancel on me. When I got her message, initially I panicked, as the weekend hadn’t been good for me. I had been particularly anxious and troubled. Things can’t always happen when you need them to and things are always going to come up. I wasn’t prepared for the possibility that my therapist might not be available this week and this is how I’ve attempted to navigate the situation.

"It dawned on me that my therapist is human too."

Reflecting on how I initially reacted, I was obviously so focused on my own turmoil and the immediate barrier put in front of me to getting some of reprieve from the grief that I had been feeling. This wasn’t coming from a place of selfishness or anything. I just feel like I’m in crisis mode all of the time. It dawned on me fairly quickly that my therapist is human too. I’m in grief central at the moment and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to carry anything like that around.

I think the realisation that my therapist is human too ended up being comforting in some ways. I told myself that things can’t always happen in sync and that ultimately, there is no time limit on me healing. I just needed a contingency plan to kick on.

I don’t get into the minor details of my therapy with anyone but there are a few select people who know that I’ve been diagnosed with quite severe PTSD and am receiving help for it. The first person I told was my Dad, who promptly reaffirmed the fact that shit happens. We spoke about the upcoming weekend and how we’re going to watch all of the sport.

Something to look forward to! No one is ever going to want to or need to pry into what you and your therapist talk about, but if you have understanding people around you who know that what you’re doing is important, these are exactly the people that you could go to just to fill up your calendar. If you’re in crisis mode, you need warmth and you need people who you can be yourself around.

It’s only Tuesday so I have a fair bit to go but the two things keeping me in check at the moment are a whole lot of reflection and a little help from my friends. Mind yourselves!

Our work is supported by